JOPLIN, Mo. – MoDOT says crews have been working around the clock to clear road ways, working 12-hour shifts to keep up with the storm system moving through the area over the last 24-36 hours.
Darin Hamelink, MoDOT Southwest District Maintenance Engineer, says that the Southwest District has about 280 trucks in its fleet to help with road conditions, but the extreme cold temperatures have caused a few issues with some of their trucks.
“The extreme cold has hampered us in some ways. We have about ten percent of our fleet down, just due to mechanical issues,” Hamelink says, “When you have these temperatures, it’s just really hard on this equipment. Hydraulics and everything wanting to gel up on you. Ten percent of our fleet being down is not much out of the ordinary, other than it’s being caused by the extreme cold. We have had some issues with fuel gelling up on us.”
In addition to that, MoDOT wants to remind people to slow down and give their trucks space on the roadways while they try to clear snow.
“We did have an incident earlier this morning where a semi sideswiped one of our snow trucks over there near Joplin,” Hamelink adds, “I think part of it was…kind of a white-out condition while you’re plowing. It stirs up all that snow and makes visibility very difficult. On top of speed, visibility was also an issue. Hopefully people are…slowing down and giving us a little more room to work.”